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Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS): About CLaSS

The CLaSS Team

Dr. Jason Eyre

Senior Lecturer in Learning Development

Dr Jason Eyre is a Senior Lecturer in Learning Development in the Centre for Learning and Study Support at De Montfort University in Leicester. He holds a PhD in Philosophy of Education (UCL, 2020) and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research focuses on support for learning in higher education. Jason is the Learning Services faculty lead for Arts, Design and Humanities (ADH) and teaches in programmes across DMU. He is the chair of the university’s Mentoring Steering Group, and supports peer learning and peer mentoring initiatives. He also works in the development of learning communities and leads the DMU Writing Circle and Postgraduate Group Online. He has an interest in academic integrity and good academic practices.

Bev Hancock-Smith

Senior Lecturer in Learning Development

Bev works with students from across the university through workshops, drop-ins and tutorials. Bev is liaison for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media (CEM) and works closely with faculty colleagues to support academic skills development within the curriculum. As such, she regularly delivers sessions around report writing and structure, final year projects and communicating research. She has responsibility for overseeing Mentoring across the university and leads the attainment mentoring scheme Dare to Be mentoring. Having previously worked in Further Education, Bev is confident supporting students’ transition into Higher Education, particularly from non-traditional routes, such as Access to Higher Education. Bev studied and worked in Journalism and Creative Writing before becoming a lecturer and remains passionate about all forms of creative writing in particular playwrighting.

Dr Zara Hooley

Senior Lecturer in Learning Development

I am a Senior Lecturer in the CLaSS team; I specialise in Social Science academic writing and qualitative research.

I have worked in the HE sector for the last 12 years in a variety of learning and teaching roles. I currently work for Library and Learning Services as a Senior Lecturer in Academic Writing. I teach predominantly in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, as I am the link CLaSS lecturer for HLS, and have taught on Audiology, SALT, Nursing, HEST and many more. I also work part time for the Global Health Masters programme, supporting students through their dissertation. I have a PhD in Sociology which focused on the post-birth friendship making processes of same-sex couples. I spent time examining the inclusivity of the NCT network and other post-natal groups. I am published in the area of adoption, and learning development. I am currently writing a paper on marginalised motherhood and friendship making practices. I am an active member of the Centre for Reproduction Research.


Dr. Emily Forster

Senior Lecturer in Learning Development

I work with the faculty of Arts Design and Humanities. I also have a responsibility for working with disabled students. I teach academic writing and qualitative research methods. I did my PhD in Social Policy from the University of York on the transitions to adulthood for young people who had special educational needs when they were at school. 


Dr. Arina Cirstea

Senior Lecturer in Learning Development

I provide academic writing and study skills support to all DMU students through in-curriculum sessions, self-selecting workshops and one-to-one support. Key aspects of my role include leading the embedded CLaSS provision for the Faculty of Business and Law, coordinating the LLS Open Programme of Workshops and leading the Writing Group for Research Students, in partnership with my Library colleague Neil Skinner.

I joined DMU in 2017, having previously held roles in the areas of Academic Writing, English Literature and EAP at Coventry University, the University of Warwick and the University of Bucharest (Romania). After graduating in English and Romanian, Language and Literature, my long-term love of English literature led to a PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies from the University of Warwick (2011), as well as a number of research publications in the field. Following a period of engaging with both literature and academic writing, my career has moved more firmly into the area of writing support. My current research interests focus on the areas of student engagement with writing development and online pedagogies.

Kinga Bochenska

Lecturer in Learning Development

Kinga has been at De Montfort University (DMU) for the last seven years, most recently joining the Library and Learning Services Team as a lecturer early 2020, previously she has been teaching and leading a variety of EAP and Study Skills courses at DMU International College. Presently, she works with students from across the university, in tutorials, drop ins and workshops from variety of programmes in particular from faculties of BAL and CEM. In the Centre for Learning and Academic Skills Support her work consists of developing the study support offer and being responsible for Student Engagement and Awareness projects.  She is passionate about anything related to language learning, history, and cognitive development. She believes that happiness is a life attitude and she constantly chooses to be happy, especially while supporting students, her aim is DMU students’ success. 

About CLaSS

The CLaSS team work with undergraduate, postgraduate and research students, who are studying full-time, part-time and by distance learning.

We know that all students will need help and advice at some point in their studies. These are typical examples:

  • First year undergraduate - learn about simple strategies to help you to plan that first assignment.
  • Second year undergraduate - discover practical approaches to critical analysis in your academic writing.
  • Final year undergraduate - use guidance and support for your final dissertation.
  • Postgraduate and research students - make use of advice about studying at a higher level - maybe after some time out of education.

CLaSS Aims and Principles

image of class aims and principles